The Indian Government has prepared a draft note on the dredging policy it plans to submit to the cabinet next month.

The policy will allow private companies to compete for underground excavations in the marine sector.

The legislation will also end the monopoly of state-owned Dredging Corporation of India (DCI), which will have to compete like any other firm.

The policy was discussed last month by shipping minister GK Vasan when he unveiled the Maritime Agenda 2010-2020, which included formulating a dredging policy, promoting coastal shipping and increasing the share of Indian ships in the country’s trade.

The government, through the Department of Shipping, reserves the right to assign, in public interest, any contract for dredging work in any of the major ports to DCI on nomination, according to the Economic Times.